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The Dud Avocado (1958)

de Elaine Dundy

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,3893613,201 (3.47)180
"The Dud Avocado "follows the romantic and comedic adventures of a young American who heads overseas to conquer Paris in the late 1950s. Edith Wharton and Henry James wrote about the American girl abroad, but it was Elaine Dundy's Sally Jay Gorce who told us what she was really thinking. Charming, sexy, and hilarious, "The Dud Avocado" gained instant cult status when it was first published and it remains a timeless portrait of a woman hell-bent on living. " I had to tell someone how much I enjoyed "The Dud Avocado." It made me laugh, scream, and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm)." - Groucho Marx " ["The Dud Avocado"] is one of the best novels about growing up fast..." "-The Guardian"… (mais)
  1. 20
    Bonjour Tristesse de Françoise Sagan (carlym)
    carlym: Similar theme--young girl in France becoming an adult.
  2. 10
    A Moveable Feast de Ernest Hemingway (carlym)
    carlym: A Moveable Feast gives a different perspective on the Paris art/literary scene (and Hemingway mentions one of the bars Sally Jay goes to).
  3. 00
    O Apanhador no Campo de Centeio de J. D. Salinger (cafepithecus)
  4. 00
    Sex and the Single Girl de Helen Gurley Brown (cafepithecus)
  5. 00
    Mr. Skeffington de Elizabeth Von Arnim (noveltea)
    noveltea: Follow a frivolous heroine through a comic gem that proves to be anything but shallow
  6. 00
    Breakfast at Tiffany's de Truman Capote (cafepithecus)
  7. 00
    The Bell Jar de Sylvia Plath (Becchanalia)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 36 (seguinte | mostrar todas)

"I sat down and tried to read, but I couldn't. After ten pages I was in a state of cold fury. Read! I didn't want to read, it was just a substitute for living" (141).In the modern mid-century, a young American girl goes to live abroad, in Paris, France, to presumably live and have an Adventure. And so Sally Jay Gorce goes on one. To some people this kind of adventure seems unrealistically romantic, but the afterword by the author leads me to believe that many of the stories themselves were based on her own. It’s quite a trip.

The heroine has a rich uncle benefactor, natch. And a sad elusive childhood, of course. She arrives in Paris and lands herself an Italian diplomat lover. She then falls into unrequited love with a fellow American she knows from home. There is another American, a painter, who provides quiet steadiness when love with the Italian goes sour. She is also the object of desire of a rugged and grounded Canadian. While all this sorts itself out, there are plenty of cafes and wild drinking, outlandish characters and frenemies. She even has a job, kind of, acting in a local theatre. It’s the romantic life we all wish we once lived when we had youth and beauty. The punchline is one last wild adventure that leads to an epiphany and concludes with safe and happy resolution (spoiler: marriage).

This story is not one I can relate to much: kind of old school, and reeks of Americans abroad in its heyday. That said, it’s a good yarn. It did have a slow start where I was becoming acquainted with the language and scene. And then I got into the rhythm and it swept me along. I felt very much like poor Judy, a sickly American unable or unknowledgeable how to live Sally Jay’s bold and carefree existence and must settle for the stories Sally Jay brings back to her in gossipy detail (this is also a great device well employed by Dundy). The last third whipped through pretty brilliantly and I was simply charmed. (And of course, at a personal level, I relished in the librarian-as-reoccuring-nightmare bit.)

"...the Ancient always began a table. It was his one dignity. He would come into the Select and sit down, and the table would start growing around him with friends and acquaintances. Even though he knew all the people there already, he never joined a table. When he arrived they moved over to him and that was that. So it was always his table" (82).

"Now here's the heavy iron. So I went back to New York to become a librarian. To actually *seek* out this thing I've been fleeing all my life. And (here it comes): a librarian is just not that easy to become" (236).

( )
  mimo | Dec 18, 2023 |
This strikes me as a story that was good fiction and edgy when published in 1958, and which is now good fiction and historically interesting in 2023. Sally Jay Gorce embarks on adventures in discovering herself while discovering Paris, funded by a rich uncle after fulfilling a promise to complete her education first. I found some of the writing devices interesting and unique ("I stiffened my spine and tried to dance disapprovingly. Try it."). If you like fun fiction and tales of decades gone by, this is a worthy choice. ( )
  jpsnow | Jan 18, 2023 |
"Last night was one of THOSE evenings. I wouldn't know what to call it. Eventful in an uneventful way. Boring; but interesting. Nothing much happening on the surface and everybody seething and stewing underneath---changing character all over the place." Page 180

I don't think I've read another novel where the protagonist came roaring off the page like Sally Jay Gorce does in this book. A twenty year old American girl who is spending the year (1958) in Paris, she is so fresh, so dynamic, so filled with energy that I couldn't help cheer her on as she faced one disaster after another. Lots of books have been written about Americans abroad but this one is the one that will stand out for me. All the characterizations are great but Sally Jay will stay with me for sure. Wild and wonderful.Enhanced by the terrific Backlisted podcast. ( )
  brenzi | Feb 19, 2022 |
> I remember all this part so very clearly. And I remember a little later wondering why things always turn out to be diametrically opposed to what you expect them to be. It’s no good even trying to predict what this opposite will be because it always fools you and turns out to be the opposite of that, if you see what I mean. If you think this is geometrically impossible all I can say is that you don’t know my life ( )
  breic | Sep 18, 2021 |
magnifique....sans effort....sur de soi.....zymotic! ( )
  mortalfool | Jul 10, 2021 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Elaine Dundyautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Teachout, TerryIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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"I want you to meet Miss Gorce, she's in the embalming game."
- James Thurber (Men, Women and Dogs)
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And this was odd because two Americans re-encountering each other after a certain time in a foreign land are supposed to clamber up their nearest lampposts and wait tremblingly for it all to blow over. Especially me. I'd made a vow when I got over here never to speak to anyone I'd ever known before. Yet here we were, two Americans who hadn't really seen each other for years; here was someone from "home" who knew me when, if you like, and, instead of shambling back into the bushes like a startled rhino, I was absolutely thrilled at the whole idea.
I began floating down those Elysian Fields three inches off the ground, as easily as a Cocteau character floats through Hell.
Whereas I was hell-bent for living, she was content, at least for the time being, to leave all that to others. Just as long as she could hear all about it. She really was funny about this. Folded every which way on the floor, looking like Bambi - all eyes and legs and no chin - she would listen for ages and ages with rapt attention to absolutely any drivel that you happened to be talking. It was unbelievable
(People really do say You Americans, by the way.)
There was quite a large group around him that evening; many of the Hard Core and, to get really technical - all the Inner Hard Core.
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"The Dud Avocado "follows the romantic and comedic adventures of a young American who heads overseas to conquer Paris in the late 1950s. Edith Wharton and Henry James wrote about the American girl abroad, but it was Elaine Dundy's Sally Jay Gorce who told us what she was really thinking. Charming, sexy, and hilarious, "The Dud Avocado" gained instant cult status when it was first published and it remains a timeless portrait of a woman hell-bent on living. " I had to tell someone how much I enjoyed "The Dud Avocado." It made me laugh, scream, and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm)." - Groucho Marx " ["The Dud Avocado"] is one of the best novels about growing up fast..." "-The Guardian"

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